Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yogi Berra : A Baseball Legend

Yogi Berra meant so much to the Yankees and meant so much to baseball. If you are a baseball fan you are a Yogi fan. Berra was a ten time World Series champ and a three time MVP. Berra was a 285 career hitter and had 358 homers. Berra was known as a great pitch caller. He also had a .522 winning percentage as a manager. Berra was not only an amazing baseball player but an amazing man. Berra put his career on hold when he was a young man to serve in World War 2. Berra will always be remembered for his wit and his sayings that made no sense but made complete sense. Berra had his number retired by the Yankees and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Berra left his mark on the Yankee franchise. You loved seeing him at Spring training , playoff games , old timers day or opening day ceremonies. Berra will always be remembered as a Yankee and a baseball great. It's crazy to think about Yogi being gone. Yogi was this character that you viewed as a living legend. You viewed him as someone who was immortal. You viewed him as not a baseball icon but an American icon. You can learn a lot by just observing Yogi and during his time on this Earth I hope you did. When Yogi Berra comes to a fork in the road I know he will take it. He will take it to heaven to play baseball their. He will take it to baseball immortality and he will always be one of baseballs biggest figures. Rest in Peace Lawrence Peter Yogi Berra.

By Peter Vitella

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Year Ago Today Who would Think Arod would have 30 ?

It's amazing what a year can do. It's no lie when people say time heals. When it comes to Alex Rodriguez a year ago he was suspended from baseball out of the game and many questioned if he would ever play again. A year ago today the Yankees were out of the playoff race and everyone was just enjoying the closing act on the career of Derek Jeter. All year the Baseball fans said A-Rod had nothing left and probably would not return to baseball. If you told a baseball fan on September 8th 2014 that A-Rod would have 30 homers they would probably laugh at you. Fast forward a year and he hit his 30th of the season.

Rodriguez retuned in February to the Yankees Spring Training facility in Tampa and then some Yankees fans said they would embrace him. Some said they still wanted no part of him. When the Yankees opened up at home against the Blue Jays and Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate he received the loudest ovation a standing ovation by most. As the time continued to go Rodriguez continued to slug and Yankee fans continued to embrace the once forgotten slugger. He
became the guy fans wanted to see and he became the guy fans wanted to cheer. He went back to the place he was when he was just 20 years old breaking into the bigs.

As time continued to pass Rodriguez continued the magic. He tied and passed Willie Mays on the all time home run list. He passed Lou Gehrig on the RBI list. Some would say his milestones are tainted and that's fine but Rodriguez isn't focused on the milestones. He slugged three home runs in one game . He homered for his 3,000th hit of his career and continues to climb up baseballs home run , RBI , and hit lists. Rodriguez has had some of the more clutch hits including a go ahead grand slam against the Twins in August when he was in a brutal slump. He homered off of Chris Archer for the go ahead run over the weekend.

Alex Rodriguez has been a major contributor to this team. He has done everything. Move to DH , play third , play first , stop playing the field. Rodriguez has been a leader for the team and no one can say he hasn't. The Yankee team has all embraced each other and people around the team can't remember a team that liked each other this much. Rodriguez has mentored young guys like Nate Eovaldi and Didi Gregorius all season. He has been a huge reason for the Yankees success especially considering many people thought he could not play anymore. The year off helped him both mentally and physically.

Is all for given with Alex Rodriguez ? Well if you ask a Yankee fan most will tell you yes. If you ask a baseball fan a lot will say no and a select few will say yes. The bottom line is Alex Rodriguez has won back baseballs biggest city. Rodriguez still has a lot of baseball left to play this season but when he hit his 30th home run this season a lot of people remembered just how great Alex Rodriguez was no matter what. So if you ask a Yankee fan if time heals and if production heals many of them would say yes.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Nate Eovaldi : Will the injury force him out

The Yankees will have to shutdown Nathan Eovaldi for the next two weeks. It is obviously a huge blow to a Yankee team that is .05 games back of the first place BlueJays. The Yankees need Eovaldi to get healthy most importantly for the playoff run. The Yankees should absolutely be in the playoffs even with Nate out for two weeks. Eovaldi has been one of the best pitchers in the Yankees rotation and it will be a blow for the team.

I think the Yankees can weather the storm and at worst the Yankees will be in the Wild Card game. If Eovaldi is just out the two weeks he will have two weeks to pitch before the playoffs. If he has time to pitch before the playoffs begin it will be ideal because you do not want him going into the playoffs blindly. Hopefully Nate Eovaldi just has inflammation and it will be no big deal. In two weeks he will return and he can be a major part of the Yankee team in the playoffs.

Obviously their is plenty to worry about with Nathan Eovaldi however if it is just inflammation and he comes back in two weeks the Yankees will be okay. Come playoff time if healthy he will be in the rotation.

Hurry back Nate because the Yankees will need you if they are going to win the World Series. Personally I think in two weeks they will ease him back baring no set backs and he will be ready for the playoffs.

By Peter Vitella

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Home Stretch

The Yankees are in a dog fight for first place in the AL East Division and leading a wild card spot as we go to September.

10 Questions Going into the Final Month

1. Can Michael Pineda return to earlier season form ?

Personally I don't see why not. Pineda has great stuff and looked really good tonight  in Boston. He has to get some innings under his belt since the injury but I trust him to get it right.

2. Can Alex Rodriguez bounce back from the awful August ?

Rodriguez has talked about the highs and lows this season. Obviously August was a real low. However A-Rod had the big grand slam and had two home runs late in the month. Hopefully the days off in Atlanta help.

3. How good can Luis Severino be ?

Through five starts Severino has a 2.17 era and despite being 21 he looks extremely polished. Severino can be an ace for years to come and can be a dominant arm for the Yankees the rest of the season.

4. Can the Yankees survive the Mark Teixeira injury ?

I think the Tex injury is a huge blow to the lineup but if A-Rod , Beltran , and McCann can produce
in the middle of the lineup they will survive the two weeks. The defensive loss is the bigger blow.
Offensively Greg Bird will produce. He is not the defensive player Tex is.

5. What happens with CC Sabathia ?

Ultimately if CC comes back the Yankees may use him in the rotation because of Brian Cashman. I think Cashman is dead wrong here. I don't like his thoughts on this. It's not about who is making the most money. CC should be in the pen during  the regular season. Come playoffs I would be shocked if he was in the rotation.

6. Who should start the Wild Card Game ?

This is of course if the Yankees do not win the division. If they make it to the Wild Card game many would pick Masahiro Tanaka but I would ride the hot hand and start Nathan Eovaldi.

7. Can the Yankees ride the bullpen to a World Series appearance ?

I think the Yankees rotation is under rated but make no mistake about it Chasen Shreve , Dellin Bettances , and Andrew Miller have been possibly baseballs best bullpen trio. So yes they can take them to a World Series.

8. Which September call up can help the most ?

Andrew Bailey is a former stud closer and I think he can be the guy. Perhaps I go with him because I am a Bailey fan and I am rooting for him.

9. Can the Yanks win the division ?

If Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda pitch like they can , absolutely yes. Overall this team is just as good as the Bluejays

10. If the Yankees are in the Wild Card who will they face ?

I think the Texas Rangers. They have a big time lineup and the rotation has been excellent. I expect Josh Hamilton to comeback and the veteran lineup to perform. Of the second wild card teams they have the best true ace in Cole Hamels. They have veteran bats like Prince Fielder , Mike Napoli , Adrian Beltre , and others.

By Peter Vitella